Skip to main content
8:30 am
worked so hard to achieve this goal. two of the people who have worked the hardest, and two people that it has been my privilege to work closely with, are sitting here today. speaker nancy pelosi, mayor gavin newsom. the mayor said some mighty nice things about me, but i tell you -- this would not have happened without the speaker and the mayor. i had been navy secretary about 10 minutes when the speaker called and said, "can we do something about treasure island?" i went up and talked to her, and and i talked to the mayor, and it was a group effort, a team effort, and we stood on the work that other people have done, and a couple of those folks are here today. mayor willie brown, and my
8:31 am
predecessor as secretary of the navy, both of whom were here when this process started, and both of whom live the groundwork for what we are able to do here today, so thank you. united states navy in association with treasure island began 70 years ago, right after the completion of world expo, 1939-1940. the navy took this over, and from these shores, tens of thousands of sailors and marines left the fight in the pacific in world war ii, and a lot of those sailors and marines who left from here, this was the last time they saw america, and they made the ultimate sacrifice for us. as we transfer this treasure, this island, from the navy back
8:32 am
to the city, i hope that all of us will remember the service and sacrifice of every sailor, every marine, living and dead. [applause] and the people who left from here and the people who serve today, risking everything, so that we can celebrate today. that legacy lives on in the young men and women who wear the cloth of this country and who are deployed around the world as we meet here today. when the famous or infamous bates 3 aligning closure process started in 1988, a final result of any individual base closure and transfer could not have hoped for a better ultimate
8:33 am
outcome than what has been achieved in treasure island. the navy's charge is to dispose of property in a manner that promotes economic development. that has been done. the transfer of treasure island is a win for san francisco. it is a win for the state of california, a win for the united states navy, and a win for the american taxpayers who paid for this base and all the infrastructure that was here. because of this transfer, the american taxpayer gets fair market value for treasure island. because of this transfer, hundreds of millions of dollars of economic development will flow into the city of san francisco and into this whole area, and because of this transfer, treasure island will bring thousands of great jobs right here.
8:34 am
first, as new buildings are built, and then, as this island more and more and this new development becomes an ongoing an integral part to the city of san francisco. for our part, the mayor said the navy is going to get significant rewards by sharing a portion of the revenues, which could in turn be used to make sure that our sailors and marines have the tools that they need to do the mission that they are being sent on. i am incredibly grateful to two fine public servants -- mayor newsom and his staff, speaker pelosi and hers, and the entire california congressional delegation for their commitment to resolving this transfer. speaker pelosi has been working on this issue since her very
8:35 am
early years in congress, and over the years, even though negotiations have sometimes been difficult, the speaker has always had the best interest of the city, of the state, of the navy, and of the nation at heart. what we have achieved here can serve as a template for future transfers of military bases across the country. i am also very grateful to the speaker for her leadership on energy and on energy legislation and for her commitment, along with the president, to change the way we use and produce energy in the united states and building toward a new energy economy. it is of tremendous importance, the way we produce energy and the way we use it, to the navy and marine corps because how we power our ships and our aircraft fundamentally about national security, just as energy reform for the country at
8:36 am
large is about energy independence, national security, as well as about economic development and job creation. here on treasure island is -- as the mayor so eloquently pointed out, there is an opportunity to demonstrate what happens when sustainable development and sustainable usage is considered from the very beginning of a project. here on treasure island, there is an opportunity to build a working model of the president's new energy future, and because of the leadership of the public servants who stand here today, i look forward to seeing that model become an example for the rest of the country to follow. thank you so much for being with us today. it is my incredible honor and pleasure to introduce to you your native daughter, the speaker of the united states house of representatives, nancy
8:37 am
pelosi. [applause] >> thank you, mr. secretary. thank you all. thank you, mr. mayor. what an honor it is for us to welcome the secretary of the navy to treasure island for this very important occasion. he is a live long public servant -- governor, ambassador, and secretary. he has focused on critical issues facing our nation's education and national security, currently leading our efforts to restore the gulf region, but as an ambassador to saudi arabia, governor of mississippi, person committed to a better future for america, he sees the connection of all of these issues. i appreciate your leadership. i thank you for acknowledging that the military is one of the biggest users of energy in our
8:38 am
country. and thank you for your leadership in connecting the military with energy efficiency. it is a national security issue for sure. i want to join you in welcoming one of your predecessors, secretary dalton, here today. we stand on your shoulders and those of willie brown, for the foundation that was late for us to go forward. when we finally got a president, i will be frank, who finally understood the city of treasure island. it should not have been so hard to explain, but for some reason, it was. we were ready with new leadership to capture the opportunity. thank you for your work under mayer brown, and now, mayor news of. mr. mayer, you know that when we started these meetings, we were practically writing to each other on stone tablets. it seems it was that long ago. and i leading up to our
8:39 am
teleconferencing. when the mayor was not in washington advocating for the city of san francisco and this initiative in particular, i would walk into the room, and there he would be. there he is on the screen, advocating for san francisco and these issues in particular. because, as the mayor indicated, he said the city is 47 square miles. tiny city. my district is 32 square miles within the city of san francisco, and all three, mr. secretary, of those military bases are contained in this 32 square miles. the presidio, the hunters point naval shipyard, and treasure island. naval shipyard has long been on the closure list, but the presidio and treasure island came in the late 1980's. first, we fought the closure,
8:40 am
and then we accepted our fate and had a transition, and i appreciate the secretary saying that the model a country on how we go forward. the mayor, his leadership has been relentless on behalf of this project. there brown was similarly relentless, and that is why when we had a new president, we were ready. michael, thank you for your leadership. thank you for your work and your leadership as director of drug development of san francisco, because that -- zap worked so hard to make all of this possible. i wanted to make sure that they were recognized, but there are so many other partners who have not been acknowledged, and i
8:41 am
associate myself with the remarks made in praise of them. from the beginning of world war ii, treasure island served as a critical base for the united states navy. hunters point, presidio, treasure island -- how proud san francisco has been with our association with our men and women in uniform and the role they all play make us the home of the brave and the land of the free. but when the closure commission came along and decided our fate -- as i said, at first, we resisted, and then, we use our imagination. we wanted to be respectful because during the war, this is a center for receiving training and deploying members of our military serving in the pacific theater, as the secretary said so beautifully. some see this as their last view of america after they went off
8:42 am
to war. in the decades that followed, the navy continued to train service members here as this facility became a crossroad for sailors and marines, those on their way to the cross pacific, and those coming home. when the base was set to close, leaders of this city and its representatives in congress recognized the potential for treasure island to remain a vital piece of our region poses success and future. today on the basis of this great history, treasure island officially entered its next chapter, this time as a center for jobs and economic development. thanks to the agreement, we can now move forward on plans to build essential infrastructure, open space and parks, hotels and housing for local residents, and very respectful of the residents
8:43 am
who are already here. thank you for being with us today. remaking treasure island will mean significant contributions to indiana sets -- industry central, san francisco's economic vitality, tourism, retail, restaurant, and entertainment, and manufacturing. this project is of innovative practices to extend our leadership and sustainability. the mayor and secretary have already mentioned them. green building standards, congested management, innovative storm water treatment, and infrastructure that the uses energy use, and it marks another step forward in our drive to transform former military installations like the presidio and hunters point, into centers of commerce that generate jobs and strengthen our community. perhaps most significant of all, this project means critical
8:44 am
investment and benefits for our city and our region's economy. more than $5 billion in public and private investment. nearly 3000 permanent jobs, five times the number of the 1 billion jobs that existed when the banks close. just before the banks closed, it had 1/5 of the number of civilian jobs it will have as we go forward. 2000 temporary jobs per year during construction, and up to 8000 new residential units, 30% of which will be offered at rates affordable for low and middle income families. all three of us have touched on this. we want you to know that is the commitment. in the wake of a deep economic crisis that took a toll on so many in san francisco bay area and across the country, these forthcoming economic benefits could not come at a better
8:45 am
time, and they will provide a welcome boost to our city's economy and the entire region. this transfer of the space took a team effort between all of us -- to a team effort. all of us wanted to have the best possible agreement, not only for san francisco and the bay area, but for the u.s. taxpayer, which everyone here is, so this is about your money and your community. let's do this in the best possible way. it is a low priority for all of us in the office here, and i want to commend senator feinstein and boxer for all of their leadership to help procure an agreement to help transfer this land. partnered with mayer brown earlier, and now with mayor
8:46 am
newsom, to keep the city's interest front and center. they were great leaders. and with the governor to engage key republican members of the house on services committee. i do not know if anyone was here from the state, but i thank the governor for the help with republican members. those republican members joined our chairman to include provisions in last year's defense bill to expedite overdue based transfers, collaborating with the house armed services committee to add flexibility regarding compensation for land value to start the process of igniting economic growth here and in communities nationwide. again, in what we were requesting, not only did we benefit because we had the legislation, but it benefited other communities around the country. treasure island's routes have remained firmly planted through our nation's navy.
8:47 am
now, those routes will go deeper, providing a foundation for growth, prosperity, and opportunity for our economy. today, i'm very honored to be joining mayor gavin newsom. again, without his leadership, this would not have been possible. he was relentless, as he always is. using all the new technologies to make sure that we were never off the radar, grid, or any other screen in terms of moving this along. again, as i said, the foundation that was led by previous scenarios. now, these roots go deeper, and it is a sign of signing this endorsement agreement today, we ensure that this site will remain a source of jobs for our community for decades to come. all of you who played a role in this should take great satisfaction that part of your
8:48 am
legacy of public service went to something that the mayor calls a big deal, a very big deal for our community, for our country. in closing, i just want to salute the navy for keeping treasure island safe for us so that we could come to this day of transition to civilian use that is also a sign of the strength of our country. thank you all very much. [applause] >> thank you. i would also like to acknowledge the tremendous partnership that we have had in the department of defense. the folks in the navy's office that we work with on a daily basis, some of whom are here, some are not.
8:49 am
i would now like to invite you to the table to my left to commemorate with your signature the historic agreement for the transfer, formal mail station trichet -- treasure island for the city and county of san francisco.
8:50 am
[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, that concludes our program. thank you so much for being here today. we hope that you will join us for a reception, which is in a building just to our right. it is a short walk. this says there are staff from the mayor's office who will be along the way to help you get there, and we hope to see you over there. thank you again for joining us on this wonderful day. [applause]
8:51 am
>> in this fabulously beautiful persidio national park and near golden gate and running like a scar is this ugly highway. that was built in 1936 at the same time as the bridge and at
8:52 am
that time the presidio was an army and they didn't want civilians on their turf. and the road was built high. >> we need access and you have a 70 year-old facility that's inadequate for today's transportation needs. and in addition to that, you have the problem that it wasn't for site extenders. >> the rating for the high viaduct is a higher rating than that collapsed. and it was sapped quite a while before used and it was rusty before installed. >> a state highway through a federal national park
8:53 am
connecting an independently managed bridge to city streets. this is a prescription for complication. >> it became clear unless there was one catalyst organization that took it on as a challenge, it wouldn't happen and we did that and for people to advocate. and the project has a structural rating of 2 out of 100. >> you can see the rusting reinforcing in the concrete when you look at the edges now. the deck has steel reinforcing that's corroded and lost 2/3's of its strength. >> this was accelerated in 1989 when the earthquake hit and cal
8:54 am
came in and strengthened but can't bring to standards. to fix this road will cost more than to replace. and for the last 18 years, we have been working on a design to replace the road way, but to do in a way that makes it appropriate to be in a national park and not army post. >> i would say it's one of the most ugly structure, and it's a barrier between the mar sh and presidio. and this is a place and i brought my dogs and grandchildren and had a picnic lunch and it was memorable to use them when we come here.
8:55 am
what would it look like when the design and development is completed. and we are not sure we want an eight lane highway going through this town. and it's a beautiful area in a national seaport area on the planet. >> the road is going to be so different. it's really a park way, and it's a parkway through the national park. and they make the road disapeer to the national park. >> and the road is about 20 feet lower, normally midday, you go through it in two minutes. looking back from the golden gate bridge to presidio, you are more aware of the park land and less of the roads.
8:56 am
and the viaduct will parallel the existing one and to the south and can be built while the existing one remains in operation. and the two bridges there with open space between them and your views constantly change and not aware of the traffic in the opposite direction and notice the views more. and the lanes of course are a foot wider than they are today. and they will be shoulders and if your car is disabled, you can pull off to the edge. and the next area, the tunnel portal will have a view centered on the palace of fine arts and as you come out, you can see alkatrez island and bay. and the next area is about 1,000 feet long.
8:57 am
and when you come into one, you can see through the other end. it's almost like driving through a building than through a tunnel. and noise from the roadway will be sheltered. and the traffic will be out of view. >> when you come out of the last sort tunnel and as you look forward, you see the golden dome of the palace of fine arts and what more perfect way to come to san francisco through that gateway. >> it will be an amazing transformation. now you read it as one section, the road is a major barrier and then a wonderful strip along the water. all of those things are going to mesh together. >> right now the road really cuts off this area from public access. and with the new road, we will
8:58 am
be able to open up the opportunity in a new way. >> this bunker that we see now is out of access for the general public. we are excited to completely rework this side and to open up the magnificent views. and what we want to do is add to this wonderful amenity and restore this coastal bluff area and respect its military history and the doyle drive project is allowing us to do that recorrection. and this area is not splintered off. >> and we can see how dramatic a change it will be when doyle
8:59 am
drive is suppressd and you have a cover that connects the cemetery to this project. it's historic on the statewide and national basis, but you could rush the project or put thought and time to create something of lasting public benefit. >> we really want this, for everyone to feel like it's a win situation. whether you are a neighbor that lives nearby or a commuter or user of the park. that everyone will experience a much better situation than they currently have. >> the human interest to me is how people could work out so many challenging differences to come to a design that we believe will give us a jewel. landmark of a place. >> i am sure it will have refining